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Will it snow? How much will it snow? When will it snow?

These are common questions heading into the winter season in many parts of the country. Even states where snow isn’t a usual occurrence might wonder just how cold it will get. Polar vortexes and blasts of Arctic air can leave people wearing jackets even in the Bahamas. Climate change is making the cold season fiercer and more unpredictable than ever, and that leaves people turning to traditional sources for predictions for the 2021-2022 winter season.

One farmer’s almanac has been predicting winter weather for decades. While some dismiss such things as quaint traditions, the accuracy rate of this particular almanac is an astounding 80 percent. They say that this coming winter is going to be long, cold, and wet.

Even though the almanac is a traditional source of information, it does rely on sciences that have gotten very modern. These include atmospheric conditions and solar data.

Actually specifying dates and precipitation amounts is the job of your local weatherman, but general predictions about the climate can help people plan their winter out better. Knowing that things might be colder and wetter longer than usual might help them avoid early spring trips that could go badly without good weather. In fact, those living in northern latitudes might even plan a mid-winter trip to the tropics or Caribbean just to get a quick break from all the cold and mess.

While everyone can benefit from such future knowledge, farmers are still likely the ones to benefit the most. They need to get all the productivity they can out of their farms, and planting too soon can mean risking loss of crops. Likewise, waiting too long can mean skipping out on days where plants could be growing.

Even residential citizens can adjust growing schedules on such information. Knowing when winter will actually end can mean planting seedlings in containers indoors or perhaps a greenhouse before transferring the plants to actual soil as soon as it is safe. Doing so can mean getting a jump ahead on certain crops by six weeks to two months, possibly opening up terrain later in the summer for a second fall crop or harvest for more food.